This past week was really nice. We went to SIngapore on Wednesday and came back on Friday. Singapore was, as always, a highlight to see everyone and be with the Mains. It was a special Zone Conference in that Elder Wilson, the second counselor in the Asia Area Presidency was conducting the annual mission tour at the same time, so he was there too! As usual, there were two zone conference, one for West malaysia and Singapore, and another for Borneo. It was such a dynamic conference, with so many good ideas for finding new investigators and working with people who are struggling. Sister Wilson walked us through 1 Nephi 1, and showed how all the principles of the first lesson (restoration) are present in the chapter. It's really interesting to try, if you take your Preach My Gospel, and read it, looking for all the subtitles of the first lesson, y ou will find them all. We actually put this to the test yesterday, but I'll talk about that later.
Elder Wilson pointed out a line from Preach My Gospel that invites missionaries to help get members to read the Book of Mormon with investigators and less actives (<- I don't like that term very much). He shared a story of how a contractor was flooring his house, and after each day, he would linger around. The contractor asked why the house felt so different, so nice? E. WIlson explained that it was a home centered on Christ, and went on to introduce the Book of Mormon. The contractor said that he hadn't read a book since high school, and that he didn't feel comfortable. E. WIlson offered him to come to his house once a week and read with him. After not so long, he was able to read with ease, and had a testimony of the Book of Mormon. E. Wilson shared how one of the biggest problems we face is people not understanding the BOok of Mormon, or how it can be used properly. When a member steps in, there is that immediate support system, and a second witness to what they are reading. We've tried it several times now, one time combined with reading 1 nephi 1 after teaching the first lesson. It was really cool to see just how much the atmosphere and understanding changes when all parties understand or begin to understand the Book of Mormon. E. Wilson extended the invitation to, even when we get home, find those who are struggling, and offer to help them read the Book of Mormon with them.
I think the highlight of being in Singapore was being at MLC. The Wilson's came to MLC, and gave a fantastic training on leadership. They are very inspiring, and funny at the same time. He talked a lot about incentives, and how, even when are goal is the same, a different incentive can bring a completely different outcome. I've been thinking a lot about the 'incentives' of missionary work. As in, what are the desires or motivations that make missionaries, including myself, get up in the morning, or be obedient. I've been casually asking around to see what other people's are as well. It's been very interesting to me, and eye opening. There is so much more than the 'final product' in so many things. It's interesting to remember that charity, or the pure love of Christ, was the pure incentive for the Savior to perform the Atonement for us. I find it interesting that Mormon and Moroni would exhort us to pray to be filled with this Charity, so that our 'incentive' would lead us to perform the Savior's work. It also makes one think about if we can even try to do the savior's work without that motivator (charity) and if we try to, what the result will actually be. It was just the greatest evening. I wish it could have been longer. I'm so glad I was able to be there.
Yesterday at church, a youth that we've been working with was asked to bear his testimony. It was such a great spirit that accompanied his testimony. He talked about the changes that have so quickly come in his life. Elder Wilson talked about the importance of bringing members back, and that if our hearts are in the right places, it will be the same feeling we had when we help someone be baptized. That's part of the missionary work that goes on beyond the 2 year service.
President Mains was also great as ever. Everyone was so amazed at his humility this past zone conference. I don't have time to tell the story, but I don't think the zone leaders will be forgetting it soon.
I got the packages! So much good stuff! I also got a bunch of letters from the neighbors! I bought a bunch of post cards at the airport, and am going to write thank you cards to them.
E. Wirthlin is serving in President Mains hometown.
My companion goes back to America on Wednesday, so I'll be getting a new companion this week.